Like love, Witchcraft is different for each
person. Witch is probably one of the most difficult words to define. Its usage and etymology are shrouded in the deep of history. We cannot provide a definitive explanation, but we are
aware that some of our visitors have never met a Witch. We frequently
hear the same questions so we'd like to answer some of the most
Do Witches believe in God?
Most Witches believe in a creative force that has both masculine
and feminine properties and powers. Frequently, we refer to the
"Goddess and God" to describe this energy in a way that
the human mind can process. Witches use various pantheons from
around the world to symbolize the forces of deity. Some Witches
do not practice the religion of Wicca; instead, they practice
the Craft as an art and/or science. Most Witchcraft traditions
teach that "all gods are one god, all goddesses are one goddess,
and the God and the Goddess are one". This is an underlying
truth that Witches have always understood. The universe is alive
and we refer to its living energy by many names.
What do Witches believe about the afterlife?
The majority of Witches believe in reincarnation. The soul passes
through many physical bodies on its way to enlightenment. Some
Witches envision the soul entering "Summerland" between
incarnations. Summerland can be equated to Nirvana, Heaven, or
Valhalla, and many Witches call this place Avalon, after the sacred
isle of Witches in ancient Britain. Each person's idea of the
perfect place to rest and reflect has a personal, almost unique
Do Witches worship the Devil?
Witches do not worship any evil entities. The concept of the "Devil"
most people picture is a Christian one. Witches are not Christians.
We are not Satanists (though we have seen Satanists referred to
as Witches) and we do not practice evil magic. We would not hurt
children or sacrifice animals in our rituals. There is nothing
in our belief system that states we are required to hurt anyone;
in fact, witches believe in karma: whatever you do will come back
to you multiplied by three. This threefold law, coupled with our
belief that everyone and everything alive is a piece of deity,
exists as insurance that those who do not hold all life sacred
will reap what they sow.
Do Witches have a "bible"?
Each Witch inherits or creates a Book of Shadows. There is no
universal dogma. All of the Witches we have ever networked with
believe in the same rule, known as the Wiccan Rede. It can be
expressed in modern English as "If it harms none, do as you will".
Volumes of text exist on store shelves, waiting for seekers to
uncover the secrets they contain, but not one can claim to be
the only true scripture of Witchcraft.
Why do Witches practice magic?
There are too many reasons to list, but some popular motivations
include healing, prosperity, luck, romance, protection, psychic
awareness and development, worship, celebration, and the marking
of important milestones in our lives. Witches know that they have
a responsibility to take part in their own development and to
assist those in need. Magic is an important part of this function,
as it gives us the tools to manifest great change.
Why do Witches wear black?
Witches are often associated with the color black. Some would
argue that both are evil, and represent the powers of darkness.
Witches know that this is not the case. We aren't evil and neither
is the color black. Black is a powerful color in religious symbolism,
worn by spiritual representatives of many faiths, such as priests,
nuns, and Hasidic rabbis. Few people would accuse their local
nunnery of Satanic worship even though so many of them are found
in flowing black robes (Sally Field, in The Flying Nun, being
one of the exceptions). Whether they know it or not, religious
leaders wear black because the practice carries with it an ancient
psychic truth that has always been a part of Witchcraft. The color
black is like a solar battery, drawing in energy and light which
allows Witches to tap into the universal wisdom.
Do Witches have holidays?
Like other religions, Witchcraft has its holy days of sacred importance.
Witches refer to the collection of their eight holidays as the
Wheel of the Year. They do this because Witchcraft is a nature
religion and teaches that everything in the universe is part of
a cycle. The wheel turns throughout the year and Witches take
part in this natural cycle of events. Our holidays are centered
around ancient solar and harvest festivals. We honor the solstice
and equinoxes, and also the great fire festivals, such as the
last harvest and the rites of spring. The most well known Witches'
holiday is Halloween, which we call Samhain (sah-wen). This is
the time when the "veil between the worlds is thin",
and we can contact the spirits of our ancestors. Thought the others
are not as well known, Witches cherish all of nature's holidays
as we cherish all of nature. The ancient holidays of Witchcraft
have survived through centuries of misunderstanding. Many of them
have been adopted by the younger religions as a means to convert
the Pagan peoples to the new faiths. Even today, many of the trappings
of the Christmas season come to us from the religion of Witchcraft.
In this society of technology, people still practice them because
they stir memories of their ancestors who walked the path of natural
Are there different types of Witches?
Like other religious groups, there are many denominations of Witchcraft.
These denominations are known as traditions and this diversity
exists because of the environment in which Witchcraft evolved.
In the earliest times of our history, Witches were the magic makers
of the pre-christian pagan peoples of Western Europe. Pagan groups,
such as the Celts, were often connected to a certain region or
territory. The gods they worshiped were determined by the needs
of their particular situation, such as the climate, growing season,
or abundance of food. What further fragmented the various types
of Witchcraft practiced was the burning times, where hundreds
of thousands of people were hung, burned, and tortured under the
false charges of Witchcraft. As a result of persecution by religious
authorities of the era, the Witches who survived went underground,
practicing only within their families, passing on the secret knowledge
of Witchcraft through the generations. When the first Witches
"came out of the broom closet" in the early 1950's,
many of them were surprised to discover that there were others
like them. They were also intrigued that there were also many
differences, brought about by centuries of hiding. Today, Witches
celebrate the diversity within our movement, knowing that it nourishes
the beauty and wisdom of the Witchcraft religion.
Are all Witches psychic?
All living beings possess some degree of psychic ability, though
how far it develops depends on motivation, determination, and
practice. This is much like other disciplines, such as singing,
painting, and swimming. Witchcraft is both a religion and a practice.
The religion of Witchcraft deals with the spirit of nature, the
life force that flows through every particle of the universe.
The practice of Witchcraft involves the use of magic as a means
to create change, and psychic ability as a means to map out the
influences in our lives. People drawn to the craft are often attracted
to one or both of these aspects. Some Witches simply prefer to
worship the God and Goddess and revere the forces of nature. Others
pursue the attainment of psychic wisdom, both as it applies to
magic and to psychic perception. Many of the Witches we know are
somewhat involved in both, but almost all of them have a preference
in their approach. As a result, there are many Witches who, while
possessing a degree of innate psychic ability, do not pursue it
and therefore are not "psychic" according to the popular
definition of the word. Those Witches who do apply themselves
to psychic work often excel at it. This is because Witchcraft
is a way of life, and the energy that exists in all things is
honored and respected by Witches every minute of every day.
Why is Salem so often associated with Witchcraft?
Salem and Witchcraft have been synonymous for over three-hundred
years. This is because, in 1692, 20 innocent people were put to
death under the charge of worshiping the Christian devil, a practice
which at the time was mistakenly called Witchcraft. This event
is one of the darker chapters of our nation's history and a timeless
lesson on the dangers of intolerance that can be applied to any
era. Salem draws more than a million visiteors each year, who
hope to understand the events that took place here. They also
come to experience the growing community of modern witches who
live here. Hence the other association between Witchcraft and
Salem. Beginning in the early 1970's, a substantial number of Witches have flocked to the
city in hopes of a place where they can practice their ways in
safety. Today, there are several thousand Witches of various traditions
who help to make Salem one of the most visitied cities in America.
What is the difference between "black magic"
and "white magic"?
Spells, like people, have no simple categories. As far as we are
concerned, these labels are misleading at best and do not adequately
explain the subtlety of magic or the responsibility of the Witch.
Each individual is responsible for his or her own actions. Even
spells done with the best intentions can be manipulative, because
no one knows what is best for someone else. Any spell done for
another person, to another person, or involving another person
in any way should ONLY be done with that person's permission.
A responsible Witch does not take chances with Karma: always ask.
Can you give me a spell to.........?
Spells are not a cure-all. They do not take the place of hard
work; they add to it. Spells focus your Will and can help you
make necessary changes in your life, but they are not a bandage
for everything that is wrong in it. You must resolve to work on
your issues in every world: the physical world we exist in (body),
the psychological and emotional world of your personality (mind),
the spiritual realms of magic (soul). When you have exerted your
Will in all of these, you can attain your goals.
Can men be Witches?
This is one of the questions people ask most often. There
have always been male Witches. At one time, when Witches were
the healers and mystics of the Celtic tribes, both sexes were
encourages to pursue the mysteries. Witchcraft is often associated
with Women due to the fact that Witchcraft has its roots in the
reverance of nature and fertility, and Women have traditionally
been more associated with these ideas as well. Some male Witches, like Christian Day, the creator of this website, prefer the term Warlock.Warlock
was a term used by the Witch hunters to designate male Witches
as betrayers of the Church, but Christian believes it is from an even older Norse word that referred to a song for summoning spirits.